e-Plants. Could they become a thing?

Hopefully, you’re here to find out what e-Plants are.

To be honest, before I came across this idea not too long ago, I didn’t know at all! I’m still not sure if they will ever become anything other than a fantasy but it’s good to dream sometimes that nature is helping us on our way to do better things.

power-from-plants-537x442

Right, so to start off… I think it’s best to talk about the vascular system of a plant. The vascular system is the way plants typically transport water (and nutrients) up the stem and to the leaves and flower. This system is laid out a bit like the veins in our bodies that we can see if across our skin.

The idea of e-Plants is to use that system to not transport water but to use it as an electronic circuit. Use the image below to get a visual idea.

electronic-plants-supercapacitators-Linköping-bioelectronics-e1488526176113

I guess you could call this an electric rose!

What is the point of this?

Good question! Whilst an idea in development is to harness electricity from living things, in this case using the rose’s ability of photosynthesis to charge a battery, for example.

However, there have been suggestions that a plant modified this way could act as a supercapacitor. Which if you don’t know is a type of battery that charges very fast but only small capacities, as opposed to your phone battery that takes hours to charge to store a relatively large amount of power (don’t worry, I had to Google it too!).

There is a potential benefit to the plants too!

So far, the only advantage of e-Plants seems to benefit the humans using them. But with sufficient insight, we may be able to pre-programme plants with faster reactions to drought and pests. This could be handy, as I know so many people that are very good at killing plants. They could one day be programmed to be self-watering.

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Well, I hope this sheds some light on something you probably never knew anything about. So the next time you kill a houseplant or need to charge your phone, maybe a plant could save the day. Someday. Probably a long time away.

 

 

Information gathered from:

https://labiotech.eu/electronic-plants-sweden-research/

 

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